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Iowa Class Battleship
887' 7" x 108.2" x 28.9'
9 x 16" guns
20x 5" guns
80 x 40mm AA guns
49 x 20mm AA guns
On February 4, 1944 became the flagship of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, commander of the 5th Fleet. Next, particiapted as part of the screening force involved in Operation Hailstone attacking Truk to support the American landings in the Marshall Islands. During the raid, New Jersey destroyed a trawler and with other ships helped sink Maikaze while also firing at Japanese aircraft. Afterwards, returns with the Task Force to the Marshalls on February 19, 1944.
On March 17, 1944 New Jersey departed on a war cruise with Rear Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's flagship USS Lexington CV-16 and participated in a bombardment of Mille, then rejoined Task Group 58.2 for a strike against shipping off Palau and bombardment of Woleai. On April 10, 1944 ended the war cruise at Majuro, where Admiral Spruance transferred his flag to USS Indianapolis CA-35.
On April 13, 1944 departed Majuro, providing a screen for a carrier strike force providing air support for the landing at Aitape plus Tanahmerah Bay and Humboldt Bay off Hollandia. On April 22, 1944, departed for Truk and bombarded shipping and shore installations on April 29 to April 30, claiming two enemy torpedo bombers shot down off Truk. On May 1, 1944, bombarded Ponape destroying fuel tanks, badly damaging the airfield, and demolishing a headquarters building. On May 4, 1944 returned to Majuro ending the cruise.
After rehearsing in the Marshalls for the invasion of the Marianas, New Jersey put to sea 6 June in the screening and bombardment group of Admiral Mitscher's Task Force. On the second day of preinvasion air strikes, 12 June, New Jersey shot down an enemy torpedo bomber, and during the next two days her heavy guns battered Saipan and Tinian, in advance of the marine landings on 15 June.
The Japanese response to the Marianas operation was an order to its mobile fleet, to attack and annihilate the American invasion force. Shadowing American submarines tracked the Japanese fleet into the Philippine Sea as Admiral Spruance joined his task force with Admiral Mitscher's to meet the enemy. New Jersey took station in the protective screen around the carriers on 19 June 1944 as American and Japanese pilots dueled in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. That day and the next would cripple Japanese naval aviation; in this "Marianas Turkey Shoot", the Japanese lost some 400 planes. This loss of trained pilots and aircraft was equaled in disaster by the sinking of the Japanese aircraft carriers Taihō and Shōkaku by the submarines Albacore and Cavalla, respectively, and the loss of Hiyō to aircraft launched from the light aircraft carrier Belleau Wood. In addition to these losses, Allied forces succeeded in damaging two Japanese carriers and a battleship. The anti-aircraft fire of New Jersey and the other screening ships proved virtually impenetrable; two American ships were slightly damaged during the battle. Only 17 American planes were lost in combat
New Jersey earned the US Navy Unit Commendation for service in Vietnam and nineteen battle and campaign stars for combat operations during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanese Civil War and Persian Gulf.
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